Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken with Cauliflower Rice
This is a straight-up delicious, easy chicken recipe that just happens to also be dairy-free, gluten and grain-free. It is also shamelessly adapted from PaleOMG’s original artichoke pesto “pasta” recipe, which used spaghetti squash. I made that recipe about 7 times, with only a few minor tweaks (all basil instead of combined with parsley, omitting the broth, and so on). Then, one terrible day, I couldn’t find spaghetti squash – and decided to try it over cauliflower rice instead. And lo, I love it just as much as the spaghetti squash version.
That’s all there is to it. Delicious. Incredibly good for you. Try it.
ARTICHOKE LEMON PESTO CHICKEN WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
12-15 artichoke hearts, halved (I used Trader Joe’s plain ones in a can)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh basil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and broken apart
1-2 tablespoons capers (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a tablespoon or two of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add artichokes and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown. Set aside. Pulse the pine nuts in your food processor until getting pretty fine, then add the artichokes, olive oil, garlic, basil and lemon zest (hang on to the juice for a sec). Whizz until desired consistency – I like it pretty smooth, but texture is up to you.
In the same skillet, add another tablespoon coconut oil and saute the chicken until starting to brown. Add the lemon juice and deglaze any fond that’s accumulated on the bottom of the pan, then dump in the pesto, scraping out the food processor pretty well, and stir it together.
Finally, add the cauliflower to food processor (doesn’t need to be washed clean of pesto residue first – it’s all going in together shortly!) and pulse it until it resembles grains of rice. Add that back into the rest of the pan and cook together for another 10 minutes or so, until cauliflower is tender and chicken is for sure cooked through. Add capers if desired, and of course salt and pepper to taste.